@bavay it seems to me that the touchpad issue is a perfect counter example. I did not exactly understand whether the problem is that other distros don’t have BYD enabled by default or a patch was not accepted by upstream or both or whatever. But that is exactly the trouble you have to deal with: Push to upstream, hope they accept it, rework it, submit again, beg them, ask them… Then, when it’s in upstream, ask (or wait for) distros to pick it up… That is time consuming, frustrating and not predictable. You easily end up with a situation like:
Today we announce the availability of the Librem 42. It mostly works with Debian. Our drivers did not make it into Fedora 27, but we expect them to be in Fedora 28 so check back in 6 months.
Or download our modified Fedora-kernel. And yes, of course we will release kernel updates for Fedora 27 whenever the original kernel is updated. Promise!
Not only do you not save any time by this, you can just hardly release a complete product if you rely on external dependencies.
Also, as a reminder:
- Purism wants a FSF endorsed distro to ship by default (see my first post)
- Purism only uses hardware without good mainline kernel support if that brings them closer to the blob-free goal
- The Librem 5, including desktop convergence, are simply not possible with the above model
Pushing to upstream is not the same as having it accepted by upstream and not the same as being adopted by other distros. Still, if you see a lack of pushing to upstream, then friendly remind Purism that they have an upstream-first philosophy. I think that’s more important than giving up PureOS.
Also, I still think you are greatly overestimating how much resources are needed to take an existing distribution and enrich it with self-developed enhancements (which are part of the security, privacy and freedom philosophy Purism follows). The (outdated) team page lists 3 PureOS developers. Let’s assume one of them does nothing else but maintain PureOS and the other two do the actual development. That makes the cost of maintaining the OS (instead of just developing packages) seven percent of staff cost.
If you assume that the pure hardware cost is 50%, then you pay 3.5% for PureOS to exist. That is $56 for the Librem 15. I think that is a worst-case scenario. $15…$30 seems more realistic to me. But let’s say $56.
Now, you double the order quantity. The effect is very likely that hardware costs are reduced by $100. I can just guess here, but the first Librem was $1899 instead of $1599. Also, of course the PureOS share is cut in half, too. So then it became $28 in my worst case.
Anyway, it should be clear that more orders are a significantly better lever to reduce the cost than giving up PureOS (which I still think is not even a viable idea).
@cinderella, therefore I kind of agree with you that bulk orders are something that needs attention. I would offer bulks up to 10 or 20 items. "Contact us for higher quantities"
If it’s more, I guess most people would want to negotiate anyway, for example off-shore or not plays a role, or if you order 1000, do you need them all at once? I’m almost certain you’ll even get whatever keyboard layout you want if you take 1000
Also, for the really big numbers it might be smarter to schedule them for the next batch instead of taking them from stock: By adding 1000 to the next batch, that whole batch would become a lot cheaper, so the discount can be higher.
If you are really serious about a bulk order, do them a favour and directly ask for a quotation, if it’s more than 100 ask if it makes sense to wait for the next batch and request the metrics and stuff you mentioned. They can only afford to invest that time if there will be some outcome, which is very understandable given the size of the company. That way you help them much more than by telling them how to run a business.
Just my two cents
[EDIT]: Most of the topics touched here, from “why PureOS” to developing BYD touchpad driver and submitting it to the kernel (7:00) to original Librem prices, leverage by ordering bigger quantities are explained in detail by @todd-weaver in the video on https://puri.sm/about/